Stella promoted amid McLaren F1 restructuring
McLaren has completed a reshuffle of its senior staff in preparation for the start of the 2020 Formula 1 season, Motorsport.com has learned, with long-time engineering chief Andrea Stella promoted to racing director.
On the back of an encouraging 2019 campaign that ended with the Woking-based outfit finishing fourth in the constructors’ championship, team principal Andreas Seidl is pushing hard to improve things further so it can make a step this season.
Part of Seidl’s effort has gone in to ensuring that there is a well understood management structure in place, with clear responsibilities and roles laid out.
Following an in-depth analysis of how best to tweak things, Stella has been moved from his previous role as performance director to take the racing director role – a position that Seidl had temporarily taken charge of while he decided on who was best placed to permanently take the role.
Stella will take charge of race engineering and operations functions at grand prix weekends, but will maintain the engineering responsibilities he had previously.
He will work closely with technical director James Key to ensure that there is good correlation between track performance and technical developments.
Paul James will continue in his team manager role and will report to Stella, while Piers Thynne will remain as production director.
The change has been made to better streamline the decision-making process both at the factory and on race weekends, with Seidl wanting to have the three main divisions reporting to him.
Speaking at the end of the season, and before the decision was made to move Stella in to a new role, Seidl said that he felt it essential that he put in place a clear management structure at McLaren.
“Since I started I put in place straight away a very clear traditional motorsport organisation with three big departments,” he told Motorsport.com.
“This was the technical engineering under the leadership of James Key, production under the leadership of Piers Thynne, which was an internal promotion, and then the racing side under the leadership of Andrea Stella as performance director and Paul James as team manager.
“It was important for me to have these characters straight from the beginning, because I like clear responsibilities and also clear reporting lines, plus an organisation which is easy to understand for the entire team.
“Now knowing how the regulations look, we’re in the middle of the process to really analyse for each of these departments how do we think they need to be shaped in the future in order to extract the maximum as a team.”
Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL34
Photo by: Joe Portlock / Motorsport Images
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